Give me your low-carb vegetarian recipes!
March 25, 2014 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I eat low-carb. No beans, no fruit, no lentils or quinoa or chickpeas. Instead, I eat LOTS of protein, fats, generally with salads. But I worry I eat too much meat, and I getting sick of salad, so I am looking for great vegetable recipes that are under 8 carbs a serving.

Again: No beans, no fruit, no lentils or quinoa or chickpeas. I hate squashes and eggplant of any stripe. I love kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, avocado, mixed greens, basically anything green. Bonus points for spicy or heavily seasoned foods!

Currently I love Ina Garten's broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts, Southern-style collard greens, and homemade kale chips.
posted by Viola to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 96 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I really like this recipe. It's basically cheese and cauliflower, but pretty tasty.

Also, a nice caprese salad is good. Almost every egg dish - I prefer scrambled eggs and almond meal pancakes for a large low carb breakfast. Pizza is good, if you make the crust with cauliflower (just google cauliflower crust pizza).
posted by Willie0248 at 9:02 AM on March 25, 2014

This is more of a general idea than a specific recipe, but mushrooms are a good way to get something "meaty" without it actually being meat. One of my typical breakfasts is slow-scrambled eggs with chives and then a few grape tomatoes and smaller portabellas tossed in a pan with some olive oil and just left on medium while the eggs cook--you could just skip the tomatoes.
posted by Sequence at 9:18 AM on March 25, 2014

I roast cauliflower a lot, and one of the things I've started doing is roasting it in mayo instead of oil. Not only does it give a great glaze to the cauliflower (because of the egg in the mayo), but you can also mix the mayonnaise with spices first. I've done curry powder, garam masala, cumin, Southwest-style seasoning, nutmeg and smoked paprika. . . all kinds of stuff. The spices bloom in the mayo as it heats up and it's really delicious. I usually mix the mayo with the spices in a bowl, put it in a ziploc bag, add the cauliflower, and shake until it's all covered.
posted by KathrynT at 9:30 AM on March 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

Just read about this cauliflower recipe, maybe in some ways similar to Willie0248's suggestion, and I've been wanting to try it. Yum!
posted by mlle valentine at 9:31 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

One of my favourite easy/healthy dinners is kale, sauteed with olive oil and garlic or shallots, and then simmered with a bit of chicken broth (so, braised kale), topped with a fried or poached egg. (I'm not low carb, so sometimes i eat this with a sliced up potato, or a piece of toast, but it absolutely doesn't need it.)

I'm also a big fan of making vegetable-filled soups and then swirling a beaten egg into it (like in egg drop soup), or cubes of tofu. This can provide you with a lot of variety - different veg, different spices, etc.

The korean 'soft tofu soup' called soondubu is delicious and meets your requirements (if you leave out the meat, which isn't essential), and since you're not ACTUALLY a vegetarian and will likely be fine with meat-based broth; i eat it at restaurants all the time, and haven't made it at home, but according to this recipe it's pretty easy.

Vegetable + egg or tofu stir fries would be easy and delicious, and also provide a lot of variety.

A lot of Indian food would meet your requirements as well. Look up vegetarian indian recipes, and just don't eat them with rice or naan or whatever normally comes with it.
posted by Kololo at 9:32 AM on March 25, 2014

I like carrot or parsnip custard -- here's an example; I don't use cheese -- surrounded by a spicy tomato stew (usually with artichoke hearts and butterbeans; omit the butterbeans)

A slab of grilled halloumi cheese on a bed of virtually any veg is delicious.

Chard is great cooked simply with onions, garlic, oil/butter, s&p, and I like a splash of vinegar in it

Scalloped tomatoes. Roasted asparagus. Root vegetable gratin. Saag paneer.
posted by kmennie at 9:36 AM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I make zucchini noodles with a spiral slicer, to top with noodle-type sauces. I also am a little obsessed with broccoli slaw (which I buy bagged) with a creamy or asian-type dressing.

I've been doing cauliflower with mayo (with hot sauce and/or hot chili powder) a lot lately too.

When I do stir fries and curries lately, I've been replacing some or all of the meat with green beans and a handful or two of cashews. Green beans can do almost anything, and if you don't cook them to death (though I prefer them mushy) they are very toothsome and filling.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:43 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I find that with green leafy veggies it's a good idea to mess with them as little as possible. So I love to microwave my spinach/broccoli/chopped up cabbages and leeks for 3-4 minutes, dot them with a little butter and seasoning, and have them as a "base" (replacing the rice) for my protein/fat (fish, chicken, eggs etc). I do this at work a lot.

Sorry, that's not even a recipe - but if you're worried you're having too much meat and you don't want to eat salad then this is a good fuss-free alternative to loading up on veggies without having to think too much about it or worry too much about ingredients or pots and pans. And it tastes delicious, and is crunchy and colourful.
posted by Ziggy500 at 9:52 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you eat eggs? It's super easy to load up eggs with tons of veggies in a frittata/omelet/quiche/etc, and it even freezes really well if you bake them in little muffin cups. I make them all the time. Leafy greens work especially well, but just about any veggie mix that isn't super bulky/starchy will work.
posted by randomnity at 9:57 AM on March 25, 2014

kale, roasted and chilled butternut squash, pepitas, goat cheese, and a simple oil/vinegar dressing. update - sorry I missed the no squash point - omit?
posted by belau at 10:02 AM on March 25, 2014

Last week's thread on low-carb vegan meals may be of some assistance.

The America's Test Kitchen recipe for roasted broccoli is totally next-level delicious -- preheating the roasting sheet to 500F gives each piece an amazing sear. Haven't tried it, but I imagine you do the same with quartered brussels sprouts.

Roasted cauliflower buffalo bites are tasty, and there's also cauliflower steaks.

Crispy rutabaga oven fries with homemade seasoned salt or curry seasoning.

Ethiopian food is great for flavorful vegetarian recipes, a few of which are naturally low-carb. Cooking anything in niter kibbeh (I use olive oil or Earth Balance instead) makes it extra-delicious. Along those lines, gomen wat or atkilt wat are wonderful; for the former, you can use any hearty green (collards, kale, chard) and for the latter, just replace the potatoes with turnips or rutabaga. Ingudia tibs are tasty if you like mushrooms.

Some simple Japanese dishes: JustBento has a ton of vegetable side dishes (ex: kinpira gobo, spicy miso-marinated asparagus, carrot-sesame salad). And magical carrot ginger salad dressing should go on everything.

If green beans don't count as beans per se, try spicy green beans with Thai basil. And if you don't mind tofu, try spicy tofu lettuce wraps. (Both of those recipes are from Appetite for Reduction, a damn fine cookbook in its own right.)

Pan-fried kale with toasted nuts = amazing, especially if you use super-high heat and blacken some of the leaves.

For dessert, avocado mousse.
posted by divined by radio at 10:09 AM on March 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

You may want to read posts on Reddit's vegetarian keto board. Not all of it is recipes by any stretch, but there are some good food ideas in a lot of the posts and they do have some lists of recipes in the right-hand side links. I've also had luck searching on Pinterest.
posted by quince at 1:26 PM on March 25, 2014

Thank you so far! Many of these look amazing. Just wanted to say that I am feeling 'meh' on cauliflower these days since it gives me wicked indigestion, so I likely won't be fielding many of those recipes. But overall this is really helpful. Please, keep 'em coming!

Also, I eat eggs like it's my job, so please feel free to include eggy recipes!
posted by Viola at 2:04 PM on March 25, 2014

I love this recipe. Very low-carb, healthy, and spicy as hell.
posted by Vhanudux at 4:44 PM on March 25, 2014

In case you're looking for a simple crustless quiche recipe:

Basic Crustless Quiche

10 eggs
1 cup large-curd cottage cheese (4% milkfat works best)
1 cup cheddar or jack cheese, shredded

Whip the eggs until fluffy, add the cottage cheese, and half the shredded cheese.* Place the mixture in a buttered baking dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so, or until the top is lightly browned and eggs have set.

* At this step add any special ingredients you like. Works great with spinach, tomatoes, cooked asparagus, etc. Or you can also lay the vegetables on top of the quiche before baking - looks great with thinly sliced red tomatoes.
posted by belau at 4:28 PM on March 29, 2014

Well, let's see here. What I'd probably do is take a couple of jalapenos and dice them up, you can keep the seeds and the guts if that's your thing, or discard them and just use the flesh. Then I'd probably take a little bit of garlic and dice that up too. Then I'd take, say, a quarter cup of almond meal, an egg, and about a cup of microwave-melted mozzarella, and I would mix all that stuff together and add some cream cheese and some seasonings and then roll it all into little balls and deep-fry them, or oven them, depending on how I'm feeling.

Low-carb vegetarian is pretty tricky, since fruits and vegetables are mostly carbs. And if you want high-fat, then you've gotta add an animal product of some kind or another, since vegetables don't have any fat. I won't say vegetarian keto is impossible but it will take a lot of work, and a lot of planning.

The best thing you could do for yourself is perfect the art of making an omelette. You can add stuff to an omelette to bulk it out if you're running low on eggs, and then you can throw literally anything into the middle of the thing. I eat scrambled eggs and omelettes pretty frequently since going keto and am yet to get tired of them, because you can always fancy them up one way or another. The key is using genuine free-range eggs.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:59 PM on March 30, 2014

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